January has been a huge month for comic MMO's, with both the release of DCUO and the changes to Champions on line, only City of Heroes/Villains remains untouched. Surely you have heard of DCUO, the PS3 and PC action game that allows you to fight along or against some of the most iconic heroes every created.
Well you might not have heard as much about Champions, and that's because it's well, it's Champions.
Champions One:Free For All, as it's now called, is an older MMO set in the Champions tabletop RPG world. The game itself is a fairly straightforward MMO with a huge character creator with alot of option. The game is from Cryptic, which is the same company that made City of Heroes, and is making a name for itself with a new approach to Superheroic MMO's.
New in that it's going free.
The game allows players access to all the game content for free. The only downside (storage aside) is that you won't be able to just pick your powers, but rather will be playing an archtype, or pre-defined powerset as you level. That's not that bad, since in my experience from before the game was free, on might actually end up picking most of the powers in a set anyway with only a bit of variation. I know my first and second toons started off very similar.
One thing Champions does have on it's side is a robust charater creator. DCUO could actually learn alot from this system, since not only are you able to select various costume pieces, but you can adjust various physical attributes (limb lenght, torso width, head size, etc) which really allows you to create your character. DCUO gets better the more time you spend collecting styles, but with only 3 stances, and body types per gender, expect to see alot of the same people standing around. Now I know that's a platform limitation as the game was developed for PC alongside it's PS3 counterpart, but that excuse only goes so far.
The reality of the situation is that both games can learn from each other, as they both have features the other could use, but specificallly DCUO needs to pay attention to how much content is continually put out by Champions and honestly how good it is. Champs is in the habit of putting out an action pack every quarter, and continually adding costume elements to their C-Store, something that DCUO developers have promised and will need to deliver on for their fans.